Saturday, May 8, 2021

John Legend Pens Empowering Song for Film Series About Online Haters [LISTEN]

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*John Legend has joined forces with gold medal-winning gymnast Simone Biles and SK-II on a film series about how to handle online criticism — specifically, addressing the hate many women face due to superficial reasons. 

Per PEOPLE, the project features the stories of six Olympians, with Legend penning the empowering anthem “Take a Look” to accompany Biles’ short film series “VS Trolls.”

Listen to Legend’s song via the YouTube clip below.

“It was cool to do it … [because] I was able to tell a story about Simone and some of the challenges that she’s dealt with,” Legend said on the latest episode of the PEOPLE Every Day. “She’ll probably go down as the greatest gymnast of all time, but she still deals with challenges. People critiquing the way she looks, people harassing her online and trying to shoot her down even as she’s succeeding in such a monumental way. And despite all those challenges, she still continues to triumph over adversity.”

READ MORE: John Legend, Delroy Lindo, Tessa Thompson, Andra Day & More to be Honored at Celebration of Black Cinema

The R&B hitmaker explained about the series, “We’re celebrating these athletes but also talking about some of the challenges they face, not only as an athlete but out in the world. Whether it’s dealing with beauty standards, all the other negativity they may encounter, and how they’re able to triumph over that.”

Legend also noted the online hate that his wife Chrissy Teigen experiences. She pretended to quit the platform for good in March, only to return less than 30 days later before her account was permanently deleted. 

“Being married to Chrissy and seeing some of the challenges that she has dealing with social media,” he said, has helped him understand “it’s just harder for women, when it comes to that because there’s a lot more scrutiny on the way they look and people feel much more comfortable being mean to them then they do to men. Just seeing the difference between the way I get treated and the way Chrissy does.”

Legend said simply turning off social media is not so easy to do for him and his wife.

“It’s easier said than done,” he said. “Because you do wanna get feedback. And so much of Chrissy’s career has been built off of her interaction with people and her getting to know her audience and them getting to know her. She doesn’t want to close herself off to it, but at the same time, it can be toxic sometimes.”

“And so obviously, she quit Twitter for a little while, thinking that might be the answer, but she realized that she missed it too much,” he added.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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